Smart Ways for Students to Use Holiday Money

If you need help figuring out how to spend your holiday money, look no further. Find out options, such as opening a savings account, building credit, taking personal growth classes, and more.

holiday savings tips for college students

Ways for Using Holiday Money

Old Saint Nick just dropped a little green in your stocking this Christmas. And no, we're not talking about holly. Now you're trying to figure what to spend it on. The mall is calling, and that cash is burning a hole in your pocket. Stop and take a deep breath, though, before you run out for a shopping spree. There are smarter ways to use that money to help your future as well as your present. Some options might have never occurred to you before.

Open a Savings Account

It can be tempting to spend all your money as soon as possible. After all, there are new video games to buy and that new pair of shoes you've had your eye on. On the other hand, saving the money for your future is a much smarter and more financially sound idea. If you don't have a savings account yet, now is the time to open one. Do a little research about local banks online, then go out and open a savings account. Students can often get special rates that are unavailable to those not in school, and you can likely get an account with no monthly fees and only a small starting deposit. Saving now means your future after school will look brighter.

Get and Use a Credit Card

If you are really itching to spend that cash, getting a credit card can, in fact, be beneficial. You can get credit cards that have no monthly or yearly fees and many have fun little gifts you get when you sign up for one. After you get one, go out, buy something and then pay it off right away. Why? Because that will start to build you a credit score. Students often have no credit score yet, and that score is something that you will need to refer to when you buy a house, a car, and more. By starting now, you can build a good reputation in credit that you will use later - likely the moment you're out of college. If you're already going to spend the money on something in particular, why not get the perks of an easier financial future to go with it?

Take a Cooking Class

Let's face it: most college students are not wizards in the kitchen. For that reason, non-cafeteria meals tend to be pizza, expensive restaurant dinners, or costly and unhealthy takeout. By taking a cooking class, you'll learn how to use basic ingredients that are healthy and cost less than eating out. No need to take one on fine French cuisine, just something basic at a local community college or center will do and will be cheaper. After that, your health will be better and your wallet will be fuller in the long run. It's something you probably won't learn in college but it is something you'll need once you graduate. Plus, you may just have your fellow students begging to share in some of your cuisine, and who doesn't need some extra friends?

Start a Retirement Plan

College doesn't really seem like the time to be planning for retirement, right? Wrong! Setting aside a little money in a retirement plan as early as possible will pay off over time. That money gains interest the moment you put it away, so you'll just be adding extra dollars to what you already have. There are different sorts of accounts and options, so a little research first is prudent so you can decide what suits your wants and finances. Decades down the road when you finally do decide to retire, you'll be glad you started early.

Set Aside for Next Semester's Expenses

If you want to save for more immediate needs, school supplies aren't a bad place to start. Once next semester begins, there will be books to buy, supplies to get, and many other unseen expenses. Give your parents a break and pay for a little of it yourself! Just sitting on that holiday money until you go back could mean an easier and more productive start to the new semester once winter break ends.

Buy Yourself a Treat

When all is said and done, this winter break is meant to let you relax and regain composure after a stressful semester. Set aside a little money to buy yourself a gift, something to help sustain your mental health. It shouldn't be anything too grand, but a little something that makes you smile is worth a buck or two. A small box of chocolates or a new USB drive could be just what you need as a reward for good grades in the first half of the school year. Who knows? Maybe that pair of shoes you saw will be on sale next week.

Still not sold on saving? Find out why now is exactly the right time to open a savings account!

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